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Five things to know about the James Webb Space Telescope

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AFP

Washington (AFP) – The James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful space observatory ever built, is now tentatively set for launch on Christmas Day, after decades of waiting. An engineering marvel, it will help answer fundamental questions about the Universe, peering back in time 13 billion years. Here are five things to know. Giant gold mirrorThe telescope’s centerpiece is its enormous primary mirror, a concave structure 21.5 feet (6.5 meters) wide and made up of 18 smaller hexagonal mirrors. They’re made from beryllium coated with gold, optimized for reflecting infrared light from the far …

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